Can these gay Swedes cope with a mean teen? Photo provided by GAT Productions.
Are you a gay, or a gay-at-heart, despairing over the heteronormativity of the multiplex? You’ve watched your Milk DVD so many times you’ve developed lactose intolerance, but you can’t quite bring yourself to go see that movie with Robert Pattison in a false mustache? Lucky for you, the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival is here to bring you the gayest movies this side of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now 19 years old, the queer film fest opens tonight with the gala screening of 2008 Swedish film Patrik, Age 1.5. In it, a bourgie gay couple moves to the burbs of Stockholm with a yen to acquire the trappings of middle-class success: a picket fence, a flower garden, and a baby. But when the adoption agency makes the pretty egregious error of inserting a decimal where it doesn’t belong, Göran and Sven wind up with a 15-year-old badass instead of a 1.5-year-old baby. Patrik is a homophobe, and potentially a criminal, and clashes heavily with hot-tempered Sven. But, thanks to the Power of Love, everyone learns to get over their prejudices and yadda, yadda, yadda, you can see where this is going. Essentially Breakfast with Scot, sans dimples, Patrik, Age 1.5 isn’t exactly a life-changing film, but it’s totally cute, likable, and full of endearing performances, and some genuinely funny moments.
The festival proper gets underway tomorrow with a whole whack of screenings. One of the most interesting-sounding flicks in this year’s festival is Fig Trees, the newest work by gay Canadian auteur John Greyson. The film, which recently screened at Hot Docs, claims to be both a documentary and an opera about AIDS in Africa. We’re not quite sure how that works, but we’re pretty keen to find out. Francophiles will probably want to catch Centrepiece Gala film Baby Love, a 2008 Gallic blockbuster about a gay couple who have trouble adopting (do we detect a theme?). For those who still aren’t over Laura Harring’s steamy love scenes with Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive (and frankly, who is?), there’s Drool, a black comedy in which Harring once again finds herself engaged in same-sex shenanigans. If you’re more of a Merchant-Ivory fan, Clapham Junction reunites James Wilby and Rupert Graves, the dreamy Maurice couple, for a modern tale about urban gay Londoners.
Patrik, Age 1.5 screens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Bloor. Tune in daily at 11 a.m. throughout the festival for Torontoist’s continuing Inside Out coverage.